Three Traits of Successful Blogs – Focus, Passion, and Originality

Someone on LinkedIn just posed this question “How can one make Blogs more enjoyable or What is that you do to maintain the popularity/readership of your blog?“. Here are my thoughts on this, this may not be all that leads to a successful blog, but these are for me pretty essential ingredients: Focus, Passion, and Originality.

Focus – I think one of the most important choices a blogger makes when they start their blog is what their focus is. Think about a first time visitor getting dropped on your blog from a search engine or stumbleupon, are they going to understand in 2 seconds exactly what your blog is about? If the answer is yes you will have a much better chance of building a readership quickly and you will have a successful blog. If not, you may well build a successful blog but it will take years as opposed to months.

Passion – This is the only possible way that you will be able to sustain regular posting of a high enough quality over the course of years. If you don’t have the passion your blog will become a ghost town very quickly. People talk about the passion in the writing, and how important it is for readers, but IMHO the passion is all about the ability to sustain you through the emotional roller coaster ride of writing a blog. Sure your passion will come through in your writing, but it is your passion that will keep you plugging away when no one is coming back, no one is commenting, and no one is linking to you. Passion may not be the only thing that will drag you along, but it is the most enjoyable so unless you are a masochist you better love what your talking about.

Originality – In branding terms, what differentiates you from the crowded playing field of blogs all talking about the same thing. They don’t call the blogosphere an echo chamber for nothing, because most of the time everyone is reflecting and amplifying what else is happening around the blogosphere. Original content and original ideas in the blogosphere stand out like beacons in the night, and not to labor the metaphor but they also attract other bloggers like moths to a flame :-)

Beyond blogging I actually think these are often the ingredients for great brands as well, which begs the question is good blogging good branding?

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8 Comments

  1. Posted October 18, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Karl,

    Excellent points. I wrote similarly this week. We begin with focus on something we know and are passionate about. And then we look for unique angles to separate us from everyone else writing on the same subject. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t. But always we work to meet our readers wants and needs.

  2. Posted October 18, 2007 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lewis, yeah sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t :-) If I was going to critique myself it would be on both focus and originality, but I keep on plugging away, and learning a bit more every time. If I didn’t have my passion around these various topics I could never keep it up.

  3. Posted November 3, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    will that 3 traits enough to have a successful blog??? I a newbie here. :)

  4. Posted November 4, 2007 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    passion is a definitely must have.

  5. Posted December 20, 2007 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic

  6. Posted October 4, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I just started a blog just recently and searched for ways to achieve a successful blog. I found it quite interesting the three points of Focus, Passion, and Originality. Yes it does take focus and originality is important to be ethical and individual. But I want to focus on passion. With all the other blogs and websites out there it is a bit intimidating to start a blog that talks about stuff that may have already been said but If you feel you know a lot about something and you can simplify it to help other people you can probably go far. Its important to do some surveys and talk to people about your blog. In other words, getting to know your audience.

    JJ
    http://www.askyourpc.com

  7. Malik
    Posted July 17, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Right to the point! So many keys but these 3 are the most important ones.

  8. MrLonely
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    well said~

    Regards,
    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

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